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AST writes to UEFA raising the unacceptable 17.55 kick off time

Posted Wednesday 20th February 2019

A full copy of the letter is set out below.

 

Aleksander Čeferin

President, UEFA

Route de Genève 46                             
CH-1260 Nyon 2                 
Switzerland 

 

19 February 2019

Dear Aleksander Ceferin

 

We are writing with regard to Arsenal's match against Bate this coming Thursday in the Europa League which will kick off at 17.55pm on Thursday.

This is a totally unacceptable and inconvenient kick off time for a vast number of Arsenal fans who have to travel to the game after work from across London, the South East and further afield.

The result will be a huge number of empty seats and many fans having to pay for a ticket on their season tickets which they cannot use.

This is both unfair on Arsenal supporters and will lead to a poor atmosphere in the stadium.

We are sure that TV coverage will be the explanation for this kick off time but such decision-making fails to recognise that watching football on TV is enhanced as a spectacle when there is a full ground and good atmosphere.

Increasingly we are seeing TV companies dictate the kick off time and the actual match going fan becoming more and more a secondary consideration but this forthcoming UEFA league match takes things to an unprecedented new level.

Please can you respond to us and explain why UEFA believes that 17.55 is an appropriate kick-off time? What suggestions do you have for supporters who have paid for season tickets but cannot make this kick-off time?

Can you also give a reassurance that having been faced with this situation that UEFA will ensure that such scheduling does not occur again.

We look forward to hearing from you and are available to discuss with you or a relevant colleague.

 

Yours sincerely

Arsenal Supporters' Trust